Café Demi Tasse 09

By Repeat Geek

“The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world that he did not exist.”

– Charles Baudelaire

“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

– Joseph Heller, Catch-22


Ari is happy to see me, as I haven’t been here in a few days. He’s not happy enough to comp me this Hazel Nut Frappé, though!

I made a stunning revelation, this week. I had been digging into the raw data from the candlestick, beacon, window query. Due to my training, I was blindly following the conventions of classical archetypology.

As you may recall, archetypology concerns itself with origins. Conspiracy theories attempt to connect seemingly unrelated incidents to some real or imagined source. Ironically, the design of the contextual retrograde analysis protocol summarily dismisses conspiracy theories and all other forms of apophenia.

Apophenia is the scourge of rational thought. People have a tendency to assign significance to patterns detected in chaos. The most often cited example is lottery numbers. Other examples include seeing the likeness of deities on buildings and burnt toast. In the field of archetypology, such connections are labeled false. Researchers in other fields attribute this tendency to something called type I cognition error or false positive.

Well, if you wish to hide something, what better place than somewhere that is not even checked? I once read about a computer virus that hid in the spam folders of email programs*. Anyway, I was looking through the CRAP garbage, where false positives are sent during report generation. Many words kept popping up, like eye, hill, fire, smoke and messenger. These ideas didn’t make the final cut because they were not common to all three search terms.

Eye appeared in the etymology for window and as a synonym for optical telegraphy in a description of beacons.

Hill showed up for beacon and candlestick. The funny thing about hill is that it was a true bit of false positivity. Under the entry for beacon, it appeared in a description of locations for fire beacons. Under the entry for candlestick it appeared within the name Hillel.

Fire appeared as an attribute of candlestick as well as in the same description of beacon where optical telegraphy occurred.

Smoke appeared as an auxiliary attribute of both candlestick and beacon, due to the presence of fire. By now, you can see why so much data is discarded from CRAP!

I was most interested in exploring messenger. In every single list where it appeared, it had the highest index value of all of the related terms. That made it stand out. When I dug into those lists, I uncovered shamash, which had a massive sub-list that included the biography of a Mesopotamian sun god and a link to the words servant and hanukiah. Guess what? The shamash is the ninth branch on a menorah – for a candle! That candle is a “helper” that is used to light the other eight candles.

Further down, messenger linked back to that entry for optical telegraphy, which makes sense, as the original purpose of beacons was to provide early warning of invaders. I must admit, a shiver went up my spine and made my scalp tickle. I think that was the false-positive chemistry kicking in – was I seeing a tiger in the bushes?

I noticed dozens of words like these. As the partial links began to pile up, so did my confidence  in the power of apophenia to hide true meaning. I’m not going to run out and play the lottery, but I am going to loosen the restrictions on my CRAP calculations. Perhaps there was hidden meaning in my crippled crab dream, after all. I’ve already started concentrating on the least relevant matches, instead of focusing solely on  Per Brogan. Not surprisingly, the last word on the report is home. ET looking out the window, indeed.

Oops! I better get going. Don’t want to be late for my day job.

* [ed. See CCC #131 and CCC #164!]

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